The pink houses have now taken on more variety and I’ve allowed other colors to join in the fun.  However, I’ve kept the palette limited but the additional colors have started generating enough ideas to create two projects.  One will be a hand bound book using a bookbinders board without any covering.  I have laser engraved on the cover with the theme, but I may change that as I am not sure about the raw look of the cardboard.  I’m not opposed to it, but it feels like it should be more polished.  When I used some gouache on the prototype, it curled quite a bit and despite trying to balance the tension I’m hesitant to use any significant amount of paint.

For the inside of the book, I am using old prints proofs and drawings.  The process of repurposing them for the foundation pages and for cutouts of houses is extremely satisfying. I’ve been needing to clean my flat files for a while and they are providing an arsenal of suitable materials.  It’s a fairly free exploration and it will be a one of a kind artwork that is probably more therapeutic for me than anything.

I’ve also been looking at a book that was withdrawn from some library called “Politics in Art.” Written by Joan Mondale probably in the 70’s, Mondale is a Minnesotan and the daughter of Walter Mondale of political fame.  This project is less subtle in terms of a political viewpoint, but the idea of Pink Houses connects and so there it is, nonetheless.

The other project is based on some boxes I have made in the past.  One was designed for a graduate level Graphic Design class and the other was designed with a friend in mind who recently passed away.  In that box, I included the poem Desiderata which he introduced me to.  It’s a lovely poem and you can read further down on this page.  Using the Victorian Sewing box pattern, I’ll be using tar paper (a reference to a phrase my dad would say to my mom about tarpaper shacks) and will use the simple house form.  I’ve used tarpaper before for a mural I created for a theatrical backdrop for the play “AH” written by my friend Jen Gerhadts.

 

Desiderata

written by Max Ehrmann
Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.